I’m always looking for simple week night meals, who isn’t? And lately I’ve been doing some reading up on the differences between French and American cultures, specifically the topics of parenting and food. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the differences in cultures and since I’m already a huge francophile have been making the effort to adopt some of these French habits into our own home. Along with all that, I’ve been making lots of French dishes from my cookbooks and have been rediscovering why I bought those books in the first place. This dish was a great find and a first for me. I’ve made lentil and sausage soup before but never a cassoulet. Not only was this dish delicious, it was simple and fast. The whole thing took me about 45 minutes total!
Cassoulet is a the French word for casserole but if I say cassoulet I sound fancy and French. As for the sausage in this dish, I used a regular smoked sausage but next time I’m going to try for something with more flavor. I wouldn’t recommend going too spicy but perhaps something with garlic and herbs would enhance things even more.
To start the dish chop up all your veggies and open that bottle of red wine. Take a sip, or two, to make sure its still good.
Saute the onions, garlic and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf. Cook for another 5 minutes and then stir in the wine, water and sausage. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake it for 30 minutes.
Take out of the oven and your cassoulet should look like this:
Stir up the cassoulet and serve with a glass of red wine and some baguette.
I loved the way the tomatoes enhanced this dish and in the future plan to use chicken stock instead of water in this recipe, I think it will add just a bit more flavor. I’ll make a note of that in the recipe below.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 28oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 3 thyme sprigs, leaves chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 11 oz. green lentils
- ¾ cup red wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1½lbs smoked sausage cut into large pieces
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- kosher salt
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole, add the onions, celery, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf, Mix and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the lentils and red wine, stir well, then pour in enough chicken stock to cover, about 2 cups. Place the sausages on top, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a glass of wine and fresh baguette.